Saturday, August 2, 2014

George Will's Backhanded Tribute to Sherrod Brown

I don't know what to make of George Will lately.  It's as if George Will the Good has been working his way out of George Will the Bad's closet, escaping for a few minutes of sunlight before his evil twin GWTB discovers him and throws him back in.

George the Good surfaced on Fox News one recent Sunday and had this to say about  the children crossing our borders from Central America:
 "We ought to say to these children, 'Welcome to America, you're going to go to school, and get a job, and become American.  We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county."

He went on to shock his Foxhole buddies by adding,  "The idea that we can't assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous."

 I know!  George Will!  The same George Will who got himself in hot water this June by refuting the reported numbers of sexual assaults on American college campuses, and then refusing to back down.

The same George Will who went after government-sponsored scientific research on climate change, basing his conclusions on what he sees as silly liberal science.  (The ice caps didn't melt when Al Gore said they would.  End of story.)

The proof that there are two George Wills battling against each other comes in this morning's Washington Post piece about Democratic senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.  Today both George Wills are out in the open, and while GWTB gets more print space, GWTG manages to sneak in some swell stuff about our man Brown.  I suspect GWTB allowed it to stay because it was a perfect counterpoint to what he had to say about Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren  (Very first paragraph):

"If Ohio's senior senator were named Sharon Brown instead of Sherrod Brown, progressives would have a plausible political pin-up and a serious alternative to the tawdry boredom of Hillary Clinton's joyless plod toward her party's presidential nomination.  Drop one of Brown's consonants and change another and a vowel, and we might be spared the infatuation of what Howard Dean called "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. "
But both George the Good and George the Bad must have worked on this:
"Brown, however, looks, sounds and acts like a real, as opposed to faculty club, leftist.  Although he is a Yale graduate, he has the rumpled look and hoarse voice of someone who spent last night on Paris barricades, exhorting les miserables to chuck cobblestones at the forces defending property.  And he is not just talk."
(That's a compliment, right?)

Will goes on to talk about Brown's campaign to seat Janet Yellen instead of the president's first choice, Larry Summers, as chairman of the Federal Reserve, complimenting him for managing to get 20 senators to sign a letter in opposition to Summers.  That was a good thing.

He praises Brown for working to end the crazy notion that banks can be too big to fail.  All good.

But then he says, in his inimitable georgewillian style, 
"He is impeccably wrong, meaning progressive, about free trade.  He is for fair trade, a.k.a. protectionism disguised in Pecksniffian sanctimony demanding that less-developed nations adopt stronger labor and environmental standards." 
("Pecksniffian sanctimony"! Score one for George the Bad!)

I may not say it often enough but I think Sen. Brown is such an asset to the country--and to the Democratic Party--if he decided to move up and run for president some time in the future, I would drop everything (within reason, of course) and work my tail off to get him into the White House.   I would do the same for Elizabeth Warren.  They are both liberal populists, and, contrary to what Will might believe, Brown and Warren do, in fact, work well together

 Sherrod Brown is not an unknown entity among Democrats, as Will would have us believe.  There are plenty of us, among the hoi polloi, and among the Big Guys,  who have been paying attention to him and like what we see.  There has been talk of a Clinton/Brown ticket in 2016.  Brown is having no part of it--for now. But if Hillary Clinton is our candidate, Sherrod Brown will be right out in front with us supporting that choice, working hard to make that happen. 

The Will Boys end the piece like this:
"Are progressives so preoccupied with gender that they prefer Clinton's risk-averse careerism, or Warren's astonished tantrums about the obvious dynamics of big government, to Brown's authentic progressivism?  Yes."
Well, no.  I would hardly call Hillary Clinton's checkered career "risk-averse".  And  Warren's "astonished tantrums" are not the female version of Brown's "authentic progressivism".  (Nice one, GWTG)  They're one and the same.  Both Brown and Warren are known populists working to lead us out of this mess and millions of us are working to make sure they succeed.

But thanks for the attention, Mr. Will.  And a High Five to George the Good.  See you again sometime?


(Cross-posted at Dagblog and Alan Colmes' Liberaland.)


  1. I really enjoyed the conclusion of the post. It tied everything together nicely and left me with a clear takeaway.

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